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Dana Dolly


Travis Gray
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Was looking into maybe picking up a decent dolly system, and finally gave the Dana Dolly a serious look over the weekend, but didn't feel like I found exactly what I was looking for in terms of questions.

 

Anyone here use it at all?

 

I was originally thinking of getting a Kessler k-flex system, but I'm now thinking the Dana might be a little more flexible (no pun intended). At least as far as different heights go in setting up rails and getting lower or higher shots.

 

The later plan was to be able to throw a jib onto the system as well, and I would think that the Dana could handle it (rated to 100 pounds, and with the proper balancing, I'm guessing it would be fine).

 

And then the Dana Rental kit looked like a bonus too, figuring if anybody had an interest in it, why not spend the extra change to get the full kit, instead of just the basic kit and then a flight case.

 

 

Would love to hear any opinions on it or if it may be a complete waste of money, or the Kessler idea is better... I dunno. I don't exactly have $6k to drop on a Doorway dolly just yet haha

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I'm not enormously excited about those flex track systems. They work OK, but like any plastic track you're at the mercy of whatever the floor is like. You end up having to carry all this 3/4" ply, which you should factor in to any portability considerations.

 

Conversely, I very much like sliders in general and I feel like they do a lot of what dollies are actually often used for. I shot this on a slider that's probably not as good as the one you're thinking of, and I think it's quite effective, as well as being extremely quick to set up.

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I'm not enormously excited about those flex track systems. They work OK, but like any plastic track you're at the mercy of whatever the floor is like. You end up having to carry all this 3/4" ply, which you should factor in to any portability considerations.

 

Conversely, I very much like sliders in general and I feel like they do a lot of what dollies are actually often used for. I shot this on a slider that's probably not as good as the one you're thinking of, and I think it's quite effective, as well as being extremely quick to set up.

 

 

Thank you for pointing this out. I've watched this a few times (great work btw, saw it when Sony posted it promoted the 700 and I was like, oh! i pretend know that guy! haha), but I didn't think of looking at this when I was looking up GOOD dolly moves.

I like that the Dana can at least provide some expansion, but I was also trying to think if it would really be worth it to me. But I love the moves in this. I just see so many people who buy a slider and make everything a move, and I don't want to become some cheesy DSLR-type hobbiest.

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I don't believe the Dana Dolly uses Flex track. I was always under the impression, from their site, that it uses speed-rail....

 

It uses anything that's 1 1/4. The flex system was just when I was looking at the K-pod + flex track. But it theoretically looks like I can use the flex track too, I think it says it works with 1 1/4 stuff. But, it doesn't look like the Dana wheels can handle anything curved.

 

So I figured, if anything, I can build more into the system by getting flex track and even the k-pod with track wheels down the line too. But Dana looks like it's more versatile right now. Was just interested to see if anyone hated / loved one system over another.

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Couldn't find it, Phil. They may not have tweeted the link. I may have just seen it in the FS100 vimeo group. I remember seeing it at least two places. I think you posted it here and then somewhere else.

 

 

In other news, just ordered the Dana. Rental kit. Pelican Storm case. So, if anyone in Boston is interested in playing with it... haha

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  • 1 year later...
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Couldn't find it, Phil. They may not have tweeted the link. I may have just seen it in the FS100 vimeo group. I remember seeing it at least two places. I think you posted it here and then somewhere else.

 

 

In other news, just ordered the Dana. Rental kit. Pelican Storm case. So, if anyone in Boston is interested in playing with it... haha

 

Let us know how you go with it Travis. I think the Dana Dolly has a tonne of appeal as a quick-setup, longer track run alternative to a slider. Though of course you can never operate a slider move as precisely as you can a ride-on dolly move, so it's a win-some-lose some affair.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have used a Dana Dolly for a few years and it comes in handy on nearly every shoot I do. Nothing beats it in terms of ease to setup and portability and the weight of the cameras it can take.

 

I recommend getting the American Lowboy Combos...much better than the norms stands.

 

It can handle curves...I think someone actually makes curved track for it.

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  • 7 months later...

Hey Travis, I've used the Dana Dolly a lot, it's great, fast to set up and break down. Works great with a couple of low boys and speed rail, or throw the speed rail on the ground or apple boxes if you need to get really low. It does work with curved track. It's great in that it's light too, easy to move around and reset. Though, that's also it's draw back. It's sometimes hard to feather the moves due to it's light weight nature, sometimes it helps to add weight to smooth out changes in speed.

Edited by Gavin V Murray
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  • 3 months later...
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Agreed on stability and weight things. Generally for myself If I'm going 8' or more I'm looking more into a real Dolly. Things like the Dana are great on ULB stuff, or tight situations, or for little gentle moves here and there in my own opinion. I'm partial to the Norms Stealth Slider; though, as opposed to the Dana but they are much the same.

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If u want to buy a slider just for fun and to swing it in to the set once a month than a Dana Dolly might be good.

 

rogier-2-1024x682.jpg

 

If u want some serious equipment with endless possibilities, take a look at the Twin Kit dolly systems from Solid Grip systems. It's not only just a very good slider, it's a very nice tool which helps you in difficult circumstances and you can expand the package as far as you want. For example, you can turn it to a truss dolly with 2 extra brackets and you can extend the tracks as long as you want!

 

Don't feel like buying the whole kit? You can use the dolly itself on regular (ladder) truss aswell, it's all compatible ;-)

 

Got curious? Check it here: http://www.solidgripsystems.eu/products2/twindolly/twindolly/

 

P.s. i'm not a salesman, just a satisfied and enthusiastic user ;-)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dana Dolly works well, easy to transport, fairly fast to set up, and can handle a pretty heavy camera setup 45 - 50 lbs. Works better than anything else I've seen in it's price range. Not sure that I'd fly a jib off it though. It's basically a hi-hat with skateboard wheels and would flop over with an unbalanced load.

 

My only experience with Kessler products has been mixed. Been fine for DSLR work but not for cinema cameras and lenses.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I now have 5', 10', and 20' tubes. The 10' and 20' tubes are "schedule 80." (As I understand it, speedrail is schedule 40). I mount the 20' tubes on a roof rack with red flags forward and back. 20' gives you quite a run. As mentioned earlier, I use American lowboy combo stands with wheels. I was surprised to find that due to the geometry, the wheels don't add to the height of the stands. (low is good).

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  • 2 years later...

I'm just using a DSLR, as a beginner. I want some dolly shots of two men sitting very low, and also for a walk and talk at about 6 ft elevation.

 

I'm talking about a Rebel T3i, which weighs about an attogram, and a small rig for the follow focus and small monitor. Seems it might be silly to get a Dana Dolly for this?

 

But I also don't want to buy a crap toy-like product. This Proaim little system here SEEMS ok. Any opinions?

 

https://www.proaim.com/proaim-swift-dolly-system-with-12ft-straight-track.html

 

(Shipping is obsene compared to the price)

 

Eventually I'll move up to different camera(s) but I should think there's plenty of work I can do where I am now without worrying about fancy cameras or 4k...

 

Is this utter crap and a waste of whatever they charge?

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Hey all, I used the Dana all over the project below. Rental. My only issue was the speed of the wheels - they had not much resistance. I'd rather have to put a bit of weight behind my moves. Without any resistance, gradual movements weren't as easy as I'd like. I suspect there's a common piece of kit I don't know about that would be an addition to the Dana?

 

Oh, I'm using it in my profile image also.

 

http://iplayerhd.com/player/video/57a4b81c-47b3-4c87-afd7-6c7f877bf6a7/share

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